Consumers are always on the lookout for new products available in the market. Manufacturers, on the other hand, will strive to produce good quality products to meet the demands of the consumers’ needs and expectations as consumer behaviour patterns are continually evolving. Muslim consumers just like the rest are looking for reliable halal products that are sold in the market. Having halal manufactured products gives them a sense of reassurance, firstly because it is an obligation to the Muslims, followed by the Thoyibban aspect of good quality, hygiene and wholesomeness, which falls within the Shariah principles.
Hence, Muslims places their confidence in manufacturers producing halal products, because they feel, these producers should be aware of the sensitivity of halal to Muslims and they should not be producing halal products merely for marketing purposes. It falls on the manufacturing company to provide good quality halal products to Muslims and Non-Muslim consumers who subscribe to buying halal goods. As we all know, halal products are suitable for all, and not just for the Muslims.
Trade Description Act 2011, Trade Descriptions (Definition of Halal) Order 2011, the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011.
To protect consumers from any incidents and predicament the Malaysian government repealed the previous Trade Description Act 1972 and replaced it with the Trade Description Act 2011. The current Trade Description Act 2011, is an ‘Act’ to promote good trade practices by prohibiting false trade descriptions and false or misleading statements, conduct and practices concerning the supply of goods and services and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental to that. [1 November 2011, P.U. (B) 540/2011]. The Act refers to manufacturers, retailers or service industry providers and it protects the consumers’ interest to ensure no goods or services is represented dishonestly and misleadingly.
As there were cases that involved the legality of the use of halal logos on products sold in the market, there was a need to establish specific governance concerning the halal industry. The requirements set out for halal products are different from the standard goods and services, due to the inclusion of shariah principles concerning halal products and services. Therefore, The Trade Description Act 2011, has also included the Trade Descriptions (Definition of Halal) Order 2011, and the Trade Description (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011, by taking into account the growing halal good and services in Malaysia.
Briefly, the Trade Description (Definition of Halal) Order 2011 and the Trade Description (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011, is part of the Trade Description Act 2011. In Section 28 of the ‘Act’, it defines Trade Description (Definition of Halal) Order 2011, any food that is either manufactured, sold or to be consumed must be in accordance to Hukum Syarak, i.e. Islamic Laws when it comes to Muslim consumers. The ‘Act’ under section 29, also defines the Trade Description (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011, the competent Authority in Malaysia, in this case, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and the Islamic Religious Council in the respective states the authority to certify any food, goods or services is halal in accordance with the Trade Description (Definition of Halal) Order 2011.
“This Act and its subsidiary legislation protect traders/consumers from unhealthy trade practices. The term “Halal” is one trade description for this Act.”
Malaysian Standard on Halal Pharmaceuticals
For any manufacturing company who wishes to produce and distribute halal pharmaceuticals in Malaysia, the company would need to refer and comply with the requirements described in the Malaysian Standard on Halal Pharmaceutical MS 2424:2012. This national standard provides the general guidelines for the manufacturing and handling of halal pharmaceuticals products.
It is essential to understand that the requirements prescribed by the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/s) GMP Guidelines, and PIC/s Annexes are integral to the application of MS 2424. In Malaysia, the conformance to PIC/S is under the authority of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA).
Once the manufacturing company has obtained its product registration approval from the NPRA, the company will be able to apply for JAKIM Malaysia Halal Certification for its products.
The Malaysia Halal Certification under the purview of JAKIM offers seven schemes, and pharmaceutical is one of them. The pharmaceutical scheme refers to products in dosage forms finished products including prescription and non-prescription medicines for human use (biopharmaceuticals, radiopharmaceuticals, traditional medicines, dietary supplements and medicines research) that are registered with the Drug Control Authority under the Ministry Health.
The Malaysia Halal Certification is widely recognised globally, due to its stringent procedure and how it protects consumers’ trust and confidence on the logo. In addition to MS 2424, any manufacturing company who is committed to applying the Malaysia Halal Certification would also need to refer to “The Manual Procedure for Malaysia Halal Certification (Third Revision) 2014”, and “Guidelines for Halal Assurance Management System of Malaysia Halal Certification”.
The Manual Procedure for Malaysia Halal Certification (MPPHM) is a reference document explaining the terms and requirements for halal certification in accordance to the specific schemes in MPPHM. The information in the report outlines the application procedures, fee charges, responsibilities of Malaysia Halal certificate holder, and others.
Halal certified products would mean a commitment to fulfil conditions of:
- MS2424: 2012 Halal Pharmaceuticals – General Guidelines;
- Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PICs);
- Fatwa decisions or decree released by the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Affairs or states; and
- Relevant Acts, Regulations, Standards and related guidelines of the country.
Halal certification reassures the consumers to have confidence that halal scientifically meets the quality and efficacy requirements; thus consumers are presented with better quality pharmaceutical products.
To learn more about halal certification, visit www.halal.gov.my. The references required to obtain the Malaysia Halal Certification are available at the site.